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Governance

February 1, 2002

Swiss family businesses are focused on the relevant business and corporate issues that need to be addressed for future success but fare less well on the emotional issues such as succession

Lombard Odier & Cie, in conjunction with IMD, carried out an in-depth study on family businesses in Switzerland during Spring 2001 because we became aware that little is known about such businesses, even though they are the key threads of the Swiss social and economic fabric. Therefore, we tried to better understand the ties between these families and their companies, to become aware of their concerns relating to the continuity and passing on of those businesses and to define the relevant issues more efficiently.

February 1, 2002

A new generation of skilled entrepreneurs and the instability of industry within the public sector brought about a serious rethinking regarding the potential of privately-owned businesses in India

The centre of the Indian social identity is the family. In many cases, the family not only tells you who you are but also what you do. Thus, family businesses are not merely economic structures; for most business community individuals, the business is the source of their social identity. Furthermore, the family and the business are not treated separately. The boundaries of essentially two different systems, family and business – with distinctive rules governing their respective behaviours – overlap within the business house.

February 1, 2002

GEEF, the organisation representing owner-managed and family businesses throughout Europe, is concerned about the difficulties which entrepreneurs encounter when transferring their business from one generation to the next or when the business is sold to a third person.

GEEF, the organisation representing owner-managed and family businesses throughout Europe, is concerned about the difficulties which entrepreneurs encounter when transferring their business from one generation to the next or when the business is sold to a third person. For this reason, an extensive benchmark study has been conducted to give an overview of relevant taxation situation in the GEEFcountries: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain Sweden and the UK.

February 1, 2002

Senior level recruitment from ‘outside’ the family enterprise can be one the most risky yet important decisions a business has to make. Here, we discuss the issues, illustrated by some experiences from candidates, employers and a specialist recruitment agency

Family enterprises facetheir greatest challenge when it comes to recruiting external employees at senior management level, yet there seems little that any business can do to guarantee success.

There are many tales of family business founders who want to step down or retire but who face the problem of no obvious successor within the business, or within the family.

February 1, 2002

In the first of a two part series, Kelin Gersick explores the implications of family development in the context of family business growth, development and success. Part two will explore specific applications of the model in governance design

The main challenge facing business families as they move to the second, third and later generations is maintaining a sense of connection across an increasingly disparate group of relatives. Can 50 (or 200) cousins spread across many countries and around the world retain an identity as a family? So far, most of the literature on family firms focuses on the first-generation nuclear family – one pair of parents and their children moving through their life cycle. In fact, the most difficult dilemmas for business families arise as they become more complex.

February 1, 2002

Despite changing realities of the new economy, a group of companies – ‘hidden champions’ – has stayed true to its core principles, with business characteristics similar to those of family-run businesses

The media hype associated with the trends of the new economy has shown how modern management principles may come and go. The rise and fall of 'dot-coms'have left many people wondering what future business trends and principles will be. Throughout the good and bad times of the changing realities in the 'new'economy, a group of companies has stayed true to its core principles: the hidden champions. Many of the characteristics of the hidden champions run parallel to those of family-run businesses. In fact, many of the hidden champions are exactly that – family-run.

January 1, 2002

Family businesses gain the most useful and effective insights into business practices by learning from the experiences of other family businesses

My task in this article is to share some of the key lessons I have learned from my experience as educator, researcher and consultant working with family businesses around the world. I will distil the implications of these lessons for other business families and family businesses. What follows is subjective and by no means exhaustive but may serve to motivate those who lead families and their businesses.

Maximum complexity

January 1, 2002

Family businesses are especially vulnerable to emotional biases that create ‘untouchables’ – people with lifetime tenure in the firm regardless of performance. No family business can eliminate emotions, but a few tips from university tenure systems can help ensure the ‘untouchables’ will be contributing to the firm’s success

Recently, my 19-year-old daughter came home from university for a visit. Over the weekend we talked about a central concern in her life – 'I need more money'– and a central concern in mine – 'how are you doing in school?' Though she got the predictable answer from me – 'No'– I got a little more than the usual – 'I'm doing OK' – from her.

January 1, 2002

Barbara Murray discusses how the much-respected 3-circles model can benefit families collaborating on a brighter future in business together

What happens in a family business when a son or daughter joins the firm? How does this common event affect the lives of those who are already working there and what signal does it send to other family members who may aspire to a career in the family's business? What happens when the family business leader transfers the ownership of the business to the next generation? How does this affect the balance of power at the top, and do the new owners view their ownership as an investment to be realised or as a legacy to be preserved?

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